Over these past two months we have enjoyed the kindness of people in the church who have very kindly lent us their homes. We have, as a family, become masters at house sitting, packing, and living out of suitcases. the reason? Our house is being renovated.
nearly eight weeks in, we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. However, as we take the hassle and frustrations of our current situation, its easy to lose sight of what is important, and also, what we as a family can learn from this.
The house has stood since 1909, and over the years has had input from the various people who have lived there throughout its time (when you think about it, its seen two world wars). However, as the Stokes family put their stamp on it, we realise that we can learn that as we take out the old and put in the new, so too in our personal lives.
Because of the age of the house, it has suffered from rot. This stuff spreads if not tackled quick enough, and brings damage and decay which can be unseen. We only knew it was there because we started the process of renovation. We could have left it and carried on - and it would have only got worse.
The same applies to us personaly. If we don't continually 'renovate' ourselves and keep an eye on what is there, we can easily become 'rotten' and not even realise!
Ephesians 4 - the Message
Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.
The thing is, we have had to put measures in place to not only take out the rot, but do our very best to stop it from coming back. The house is built on solid foundations, but the insides, the internal stuff, is what can cause the issue. And if we neglect it, fail to address it, and just think it will be fine, we are simply kidding ourselves and staring failure in the face without even knowing it.
My favourite tool I have used during the renovation process is a wrecking bar. I have had some fun getting rid of what isn't needed anymore, readying the space for the new stuff. However, as good as I am at demolition, I'm not so good at the building - hence why we call on the professionals. New ceilings, brickwork, electrics, plastering, plumbing...the list goes on. If I tackled these by myself, I dread to think what would be the outcome.
The same applies to your life. Getting the 'professionals' in makes a difference. Only you can identify with the help of the Holy Spirit what needs 'tearing' down and renewing. Getting your direction, help and renewal through God's Word, prayer, people close to you who can edify and encourage and those who you trust make a big difference. We aren't desigend to do this alone.
I really want to encourage you to use one of the best tools of the trade - God's Word. Pick the bible up and take some time to read truth and apply it to your life. When we allow the Holy Spirit to help us find the stuff that needs getting rid of, we get the chance to fill it with good, healthy and stronger stuff. Biblical stuff. Godly stuff.
I am so looking forward to having new rooms (not so much the decorating). There will be a new space to fill with fresh things. And when we read our bible with fresh eyes, God will give us fresh revelation. That is the beauty of God. His Word is so good. It is new every day. And when we allow that to replace the rot, we have a chance of continuing healthily with the chance of stopping anymore rot coming in.
Now, even though we are in the middle(or near the end) of this particular area of renovation, it doesn't end there. We continue with other rooms down the line, we tackle other areas one at a time. In life, thats what we do. Amid all the stress and mess, we understand that something better will come. Choose to tackle the rot, and open afresh God's promises for you. I am sure that a number of years down the line those dreaded words will be heard - "shall we start decorating again...?"
Constant renewal is needed - physically, but more importantly spiritually. Out with the old, in with the new. It has to be, must be, a continual cycle for us. And it gets easier. When we know we have started on good, solid foundations, we know we can build up. When we come to redecorate this particular area again, I know that we have renewed well before hand, and doing it again will be simpler.
Same applies with God. Allow the rot to go, put in better and stronger Godly things, and when the time comes to revisit, you will be surprised at just how simpler it is with God.
And one day, after all the work thats gone in, we will see the glorious end product!
DISCLAIMER - This isn't our room. Its just an image to get you to think of the end product.
Right, where did I put my wrecking bar...?